C20-Procedure 2: Flagpole and Government Speech
District flagpoles are a form of government speech, thereby maintaining the distinction between government speech versus private speech. The flagpoles are under the control and management of the District and it is impermissible to fly any flag without the approval of the school board.
The following guidelines outline the procedure for bringing a request to the EWSD Board of School Directors.
- The school board will consider requests from students only.
- Requests must be aligned with the EWSD vision and values.
- A time frame for flying any flag shall be established by the school board with the input of the requesting students and/or the administration.
- Flag requests will be considered for each school on an individual basis, not district-wide.
- A petition or other form of evidence of student support within the school in question must be submitted. Evidence requested may be determined by the administration and board on a case-by-case basis.
- Students below the middle level will not be approached for support. As a practical matter, that means that the board will not approve requests to fly flags at Essex Elementary, Founders, Hiawatha, or Summit Street Schools.
- The board cannot approve requests to fly flags with symbols that are prohibited from government speech, including religious symbols.
The Superintendent will submit the request to the board chair. The request will be presented to the school board in open session at a future board meeting.
The EWSD Board of School Directors has the right to evaluate whether the flag is offensive or is contrary to the values of EWSD.